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A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze

Indiscreet [Blu-ray]

 

(Stanley Donen , 1958)

 

 

Review by Gary Tooze

 

Production:

Theatrical: Paramount

Video: Olive Films

 

Disc:

Region: 'A' (as verified by the Momitsu region FREE Blu-ray player)

Runtime: 1:40:18.012

Disc Size: 19,743,848,529 bytes

Feature Size: 19,653,439,488 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.00 Mbps

Chapters: 8

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: January 22nd, 2013

 

Video:

Aspect ratio: 1.78:1

Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Audio:

DTS-HD Master Audio English 859 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 859 kbps / 16-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 16-bit)

 

Subtitles:

None

 

Extras:

• None

 

Bitrate:

 

 

Description: In this reteaming of the stars of Alfred Hitchcock's Notorious by producer and director Stanley Donen (Charade) - Romance is in the air when a dashing diplomat (Cary Grant) is introduced to a beautiful and famous actress (Ingrid Bergman). The fact that he's married doesn't stop the love-struck pair from falling into a passionate affair. But it turns out that the actress isn't the only one with the talent for role-playing - her married lover is actually a single playboy with no intentions of settling down. When his secret is revealed, she decides to give her Romeo a taste of his own medicine. Two of the film's best features are the terrific color photography by legendary cinematographer, Freddie Young (Doctor Zhivago) and the magnificent new look gowns by Christian Doir designed for Bergman. Norman Krasna adapted his own play "Kind Sir" for the big screen.

 

 

The Film:

Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman and director Stanley Donen looked to the past as inspiration for Indiscreet, a glittering 1958 romantic comedy, which echoes such classic films of Hollywood's past as The Awful Truth (1937) and My Favorite Wife (1940). In doing so, they set the future course for Donen and Bergman's careers.

The impetus for Indiscreet came from a less successful film, Kiss Them for Me (1957), the first to team Grant and Donen. Although the picture did not do well, former acrobat Grant and former dancer Donen so enjoyed working together that they began looking for another chance to team up. Donen had already passed on a script by Norman Krasna that would eventually become Let's Make Love (1960), with Marilyn Monroe and Yves Montand. At the time, he told Krasna that he loved the plot of his play Kind Sir, in which Charles Boyer courts Mary Martin while pretending to be a married man. On Broadway, it had been one of the biggest flops of 1953. As a result, nobody had bid on the movie rights, which Donen picked up for just $10,000. He and Grant even formed their own production company, Grandon, to make the film for Warner Bros.

Excerpt from TCM located HERE

Adapted by Norman Krasna from his play Kind Sir, Indiscreet stars Ingrid Bergman as a wealthy actress and Cary Grant as an international financial wizard. While Grant is visiting London, Bergman's sister Phyllis Calvert and brother-in-law Cecil Parker introduce Grant to Bergman. Because he feels he has no time for marriage, Grant pretends to be married to avoid romantic tangles. Bergman, however, finds the prospect of an affair with a married man to be quite exhilarating. When she discovers the truth, Bergman gets even with the now-smitten Grant by faking a romance with an ex-boy friend--ordering luckless chauffeur David Kossoff to pose as her beau. A comedy by grownups, about grownups and for grownups (at least by 1958 standards), Indiscreet proved to be far more successful as a film than as a stage play.

Excerpt from Hal Erickson at the NY Times located HERE

Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Indiscreet has a modest Blu-ray transfer from Olive Films. This is only single-layered and contrast looks adept if not outstanding - but this is probably more the condition of the source. I don't know that dual-layering would benefit the visuals extensively. The black levels seem to support the HD visuals but colors (rich reds) may be the most notable attribute. There is some definite grain texture. There are not a lot of different scene locations in Indiscreet with most of the action taking place in the apartment of Anna Kalman (Ingrid Bergman.). The Blu-ray improved the presentation over an the crummy 2001 SD DVD rendering that I recall but this is certainly not at the video-presentation level of a Charade - but I don't blame the transfer.

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Audio :

The 'Indiscreet' theme is by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen and there is a gentle original score running through the film by Richard Bennett and Ken Jones via a DTS-HD mono track at 859 kbps. There is no depth or range to speak of but it seems a faithful transfer without flaws. There are no subtitles and my Momitsu has identified it as being a region 'A'-locked.

 

Extras :

No supplements - not even a trailer which is the bare-bones route that Olive are going with their releases.

 

 

BOTTOM LINE:
I know it is just me - but I wasn't buying into 'Indiscreet' very much. Perhaps I wasn't in the mood but it was fun to see Cary Grant dancing. I just wasn't committed to the characters for one reason or the other but I won't point fingers at the Blu-ray. It was a pleasure to see the film looking so improved from my first viewing. Olive continue to release excellent bare-bones releases. Fans of Grant and Bergman should be the most appreciating audience here. 

Gary Tooze

January 21st, 2013

About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.

Gary's Home Theatre:

60-Inch Class (59.58” Diagonal) 1080p Pioneer KURO Plasma Flat Panel HDTV PDP6020-FD

Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD Player
Momitsu - BDP-899 Region FREE Blu-ray player
Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

APC AV 1.5 kVA H Type Power Conditioner 120V

Gary W. Tooze

 

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